Jay Cutler + A Revamped Offensive Line = No Sophomore Slump For Forte

Thomas ClarkCorrespondent IApril 4, 2009

LAKE FOREST, IL - APRIL 3:  Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo, quarterback Jay Cutler and head coach Lovie Smith are all smiles after introducing Cutler as their new quarterback during a press conference on April 3, 2009 at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jim Prisching/Getty Images)

Matt Forte was a rookie sensation for the Chicago Bears in 2008. He slashed and dashed through opposing defenses and gave Kyle Orton and the Bears a back up plan when the passing game was struggling.


But as the year progressed defenses started playing tight on the line of scrimmage and even started playing with eight in the box. But this year as teams start to crowd the line and try to stop the run the Bears have a secret weapon, and his name is Jay Cutler.


At First as I was reading articles about the Bears possibly acquiring Cutler and I was second guessing the opinions of many respected Chicago Sport analysts such as David Haugh. They were so high on Cutler that it seemed as though they forgot that the Bears had a decent quarterback in Kyle Orton.


I thought that Cutler was an immature player that could never progress into the true leader that Chicago needs, but after watching his introduction to the team and seeing how well he handled the media I realized that Cutler was exactly what the Bears need, a quirky young gun slinger that knows how to make jokes with a very serious media.


Truly everyone in Chicago is in love with Jay Cutler and so am I.


The other thing that surprised me about the Bears this offseason was that they really filled some major holes on the offensive line. After losing John Tait to retirement and John St. Clair to the Browns, the Bears signed Frank Omiyale who can play Guard or Tackle, Kevin Shaffer who was a starter for Clevelandand was released after Cleveland signed St. Clair, and on one of the biggest days in Chicago Bears history they signed a potential Hall of Fame Tackle in Orlando Pace who was a victim of the salary cap.


This not only addressed a need and allowed the Bears to draft a skill position earlier in the draft, it allowed the Bears to trade away their First Round pick and achieve the impossible, a Franchise quarterback.


Now in my opinion all these acquisitions have one thing in common, they're going to make Matt Forte the next great Bears running back. Forte excelled against tough defenses such as Carolina, Tampa Bay, and even Minnesota.


But throughout the year the offensive line deteriorated and the passing game struggled in the last 7 games. In 2009 I believe neither of those things will happen.


The Bears now have depth that they never had on the offensive line and injuries will not destroy the chances of a play off push. Not to mention now with Cutler taking snaps teams will not only have to respect Devin Hester's speed they will fear it. 


That means more coverages and less blitz packages with man coverage which will open up more holes for Forte. Matt Forte rushed for 1,238 yards on 316 carries last year and this year I believe he will may break 1,500. 


I expect great things from Matt Forte this coming year, and I expect great things from the Chicago Bears this season too.